Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard “Pancho & Lefty” Music Video and Lyrics

willie nelson merle haggard pancho & lefty

photo: YouTube

Country music legends Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho & Lefty" in 1983 and made it a hit!

“Pancho and Lefty” was penned by country music artist Townes Van Zandt who first recorded it for his 1972 The Late Great Townes Van Zandt album. Country icons Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered the song in 1983 and used it as the title track of their duet album. Their version became was a number one hit.

Watch the official music video starring Willie and Merle below!  Also be on the lookout for Townes…

“Pancho & Lefty” Lyrics 

Living on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
Your breath as hard as kerosene
You weren’t your momma’s only boy
But her favorite one it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye
And sank into your dreams

Pancho was a bandit boy
His horse was fast as polished steel
He wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel
Pancho met his match you know
On the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dying words
But that’s the way it goes

All the Federales say
They could’ve had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness I suppose

Lefty, he can’t sing the blues
All night long like he used to
The dust that Pancho bit down south
Ended up in Lefty’s mouth
The day they laid poor Pancho low
Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go
There ain’t nobody knows

All the Federales say
They could’ve had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness I suppose

The poets tell how old Pancho fell
And Lefty’s living in cheap hotels
The desert’s quiet, Cleveland’s cold
And so the story ends we’re told
Pancho needs your prayers it’s true
But save a few for Lefty too
He only did what he had to do
And now he’s growing old

All the Federales say
They could’ve had him any day
They only let him go so long
Out of kindness I suppose

A few gray Federales say
They could’ve had him any day
They only let him go so long
Out of kindness I suppose

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